Department of Agriculture

Dan Glickman, Secretary

Mission Statement

The mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to ensure the well-being of Americans -- with special emphasis on people engaged in commercial agriculture and sensible management of natural resources; families needing nutritional services; consumers dependent on a safe, affordable food supply; and residents of depressed rural areas.

Within its new structure, the Department continues to operate over 200 programs organized into seven mission areas:

Summary Budget Information

FY 1993 (Actual) FY 1996 (Budgeted)
Budget Staff Budget Staff
$67.857 billion 114,420 $54.064 billion 105,452

Reinvention Highlights

USDA, a leader in streamlining the federal government, has undertaken the most massive restructuring in its 134-year history. USDA's dramatic reinvention is helping to make government work better but cost less.

At headquarters and at field locations throughout the country, we are providing better service to our customers -- to the farmers who depend on us for program information; to the families who visit our national forests; to the rural Americans who look to us for help with their housing, their water systems, and even for links to advanced technologies such as the Internet.

As part of this Administration's commitment to providing better customer service, we have reorganized USDA around the seven mission areas listed above. The number of USDA agencies has been reduced from 43 to 30. And we have consolidated our field operations into multi-agency service centers.

These service centers house several USDA agencies under one roof, providing one-stop shopping. Instead of having to travel to many different sites for help, farmers can now go to one centrally located office, making it more convenient for people to participate in USDA farm, rural development, and conservation programs. And if people have a question about farm programs, or rural development, or soil conservation, they call one number, not three different numbers. They talk to one USDA employee, not three or more. We've even changed the way we answer the phone. For example, Susan Stevick of the USDA Service Center in Lyndon, Kansas, answers the phone, "Hello. This is the Osage County Department of Agriculture," and not "the Farm Service Agency," or "the Natural Resources Conservation Agency." She knows that most callers don't care which agency they reach, but they do want USDA to answer their questions and provide the services they need.

In the field and in Washington, that's what we're doing -- and we're doing it better and at a lower cost to taxpayers. Already, in our creation of one-stop service centers, we have closed or collocated 538 offices in 224 counties.

We have reduced our staff by nearly 10,000 people in the last three years -- ahead of schedule. And the savings resulting from these reductions are ahead of schedule, too -- already more than $900 million. We expect to save about $4.1 billion between 1993 and 1999 as a result of streamlining the Department.

Our field office employees serve America on the front lines. Their positive attitudes about their jobs, about the federal government, and about serving America are contagious. Here are a few examples of USDA individuals and offices that are making government work better and cost less:

Reinventing government is not easy. It involves people. It takes time. But the end result is worthwhile a more responsive, more flexible, and less bureaucratic USDA that better serves the American people. Our top priority is, and will continue to be, customer service. USDA employees are on the front lines where they can deliver information, answer questions, and provide needed services to the American people.


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